Clever, versatile guitarist, songwriter and producer Pheroze makes intricately-crafted music that illuminates life’s mysteries and provides a window into a spiritual fantasy world infused with lush and inventive melodies and harmonies. Pheroze dedicated his life to music at an early age and has been energetically involved in the New York City music scene since he arrived in 1997. He has written songs for, played in and released well-received albums with bands including Scar Culture (Century Media Records) and Soapbox Army. Widely known as “Minstrel for the Dead,” Pheroze has recorded and released two solo LPs: Driftwood (2008, mixed by Nick Cohen); Crows into Swine (2011, mixed by Clay Holley). Both albums exhibit his dexterity as a multi-instrumentalist and feature him playing every instrument except drums. His latest album Ennui reinforces his agility as a producer, singer and songwriter and introduces his powerhouse backing band, consisting of guitar virtuoso Pontus Gunve (PHWG), accomplished bassist Dan Kramer (The Stink) and nimble drummer Jeff Hardee (Facelift).
Born in London to Zoroastrian parents, Pheroze’s musical journey began while he was splitting his childhood time between the restrictive Saudi Arabia and the colorful, sensual India. Equally-stimulated by literature and philosophy, the pervasive Bollywood culture and the Black Sabbath, Queen and Prince that was on regular rotation at his parents’ house, his exposure to varied cultures allowed Pheroze to develop a worldly perspective. Longing for new artistic discoveries and to forge his own creative path, he began to search for music that spoke to him personally and was immediately drawn to the dynamic vocals and off-beat, groovy yet heavy songs on Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger album and other intense, hard rock masterpieces. When Pheroze was 12, a chance encounter with a friend’s guitar finally gave a distinct voice to his life’s passion, and, in order to raise enough money to buy his own instrument, he smuggled in Penthouse magazines – which were illegal in Saudi Arabia – and sold them to local teenagers.
Pheroze discovered his passion for music production and engineering at 14 when he borrowed a friend’s 4-track in order to capture his own song ideas and began to enthusiastically experiment with mics, drum machines, amps and room acoustics. For the past 16 years, he has worked extensively in various large studios as well as in his own hand-built home studio, learning from a variety of seasoned producers, engineers and musicians in order to get in touch with his instinctual listening, production and engineering talents and study minutiae of the latest tools and resources. From the moment he was first introduced to the technical aspects of the recording process, he has always taken an extremely hands-on approach with every studio project, listening carefully to the individual flavors of each instrument and carefully blending them together into a rich audio experience.
A truly all-around artist, Pheroze now allows the ghosts that travel alongside him speak through uniquely-haunted, intellectually-driven songs that honor his cultural and creative roots and memorialize the craftsmanship of the rock risk-takers that have sparked his imagination since childhood, including Freddie Mercury, Kim Thayil, Chris Cornell, Slash and Jeff Buckley. His ongoing dedication to mastering the intricacies of the recording and production process and talent for drawing out the unique elements of each song, regardless of genre and shaping them into works of art that connect emotionally with listeners has helped him evolve into a skillful producer and engineer. Through his meticulously-crafted albums and cathartic live performances, he freely presents highly-personal material that also genuinely resonates with a universal audience.
Ennui offers a series of original works about the moody human condition inspired by literature, science and Pheroze’s personal experiences. The EP is a celebration of his growth as an artist and storyteller and was released on April 23, 2013.
Written by Julia Rogers